What is the price you would pay for a physics exam? How you gripe about busting tables and serving customers. Do you know the torment of escape? Are you haunted by the last image of your fear frozen peers watching you disappear into the bush? Do you know the guilt? What terrors await those eyes that watch you run.

Do you know of bittersweet return? Looks of joy clouded over by regret and mourning, to return alone, with no hope to share? The others could not follow, their faces remain on the caravan of death, burning through villages traveling deep into the Sambisa forest, the Nigerian game refuge, not for wildlife but for animals…snakes.

The Hawthorne trees are not reddened by their berries but by the blood of children. Their thorns protect dangerous ideologies lurking in the recesses of spiritual righteousness. Parents with machetes challenge insurgents armed with warfare and terror. Where are the forces? Where is the strength of country and subject?

Would it fly in our House, 230 daughters? Would we continue our silence, under the blanket of ignorance and obsequiousness?


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